Prioritisation is simply the act of deciding which things are most important. We’ve all done it in one form or another and it doesn’t seem very complicated. Usually, we create a list and juggle the items around to put the most important ones at the top. Or if the list is long, we rate the … More High, High, High: Why prioritisation goes bad
After four years of working almost exclusively with Macs, this summer I found myself back on a PC, using Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2007. Admittedly this is not the state of the art, but I was surprised to find just how annoying and inefficient it was using a PC after the latest version of … More What’s wrong with the Ribbon?
Failure is not uncommon in the software world. At one level it can be small: software may be delivered late, have poor usability, or fail to provide key functionality. At the other extreme, whole projects can fail – scrapped after multiple delays and rising costs. There are many factors behind these failures, but I want … More The simple secret behind successful software projects
There are lots of reasons for software to push messages to the user and a variety of ways for this to be done. Messages are often overlooked and left until late in the development process, but they an important aspect of design, since they represent the software reaching out to the user directly. Messages can … More Errors, Warnings, Alerts and other Messages: A Framework
In the article: “To spec or not to spec? That is the question”, I explored the Agile concept that the Product is the Spec. That it doesn’t make sense to attempt to create a complete, fully-detailed specification for a software project, in the way that is common for other industries like architecture and automotive production. … More What a piece of work is code
One of the concepts in the Agile movement is that the product is the spec. In other words, the running code should be considered the master reference, rather than some form of detailed specification that says how the software ought to work. Why is this? In other industries, highly detailed specifications are a crucial part … More To spec, or not to spec? That is the question
As designers, we often make the mistake of thinking that the product we are working on is equivalent to what the user can see and experience: the user interface and the broader user experience. Our focus, naturally enough, is on the interaction and visual design of this interface. We get very frustrated when our designs … More Developers are amazing!
Software development projects are often complex and chaotic, with huge communication challenges. Despite huge investment and focus, delays and failures are still fairly common occurrences. In contrast, many traditional industries seem to have formulated very well understood and reliable processes. However, rather than copying these approaches, the software industry is increasingly turning to a brand-new way of doing things: … More Why Agile Makes Sense: software development compared to other industries
A sculptor might use marble, clay or plaster. An architect might use brick, concrete and glass. As software designers, the material that we ultimately get to build with is code.
This article briefly outlines the key characteristics of HTML as a technology for creating UIs. (See Distinctive Fingerprints of UI Technologies for a background discussion.)